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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (autoblog.com)
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette received the Automobile of the Year Award from Automobile Magazine, one of a handful of top accolades that any car can receive in a given year. That comes on the heels of winning Road and Track's Performance Car of the Year. I suspect there will be more for the Corvette. And despite the fact that most people will never drive or own this car, the sleek sports car matters a great deal to GM.

To many, the Corvette is kind of obnoxious. It's eye-candy for school boys and grown men who never lost their inner "boy racer." But Corvette matters. Like the simple full-sized pick-up truck, Corvette represents a vehicle that the American car industry, and specifically Detroit, does better than anyone else in the world.

It's a "muscle" car, and Corvette is one in a handful of such cars that even the Japanese and German car companies marvel at because it is a design that their companies and brands simply can't get away with. They produce two-door performance cars to be sure. But the Vette is something that could only come out of Detroit and have cred.

In noting the magazine's award, Automobile said that the Corvette C7 (denoting the 7th Corvette to come out of Chevrolet's design studio), and the editors rightly pointed out that the car is a bit of a comeback. The previous Corvette had been a "conservative offer, a safe play that didn't reach." The C7 has come out of a renewed and revitalized GM since its 2009 bankruptcy.

The specs of the car matter of course: the carbon fiber lift-off top, the 6.2 liter V8 producing 455-460 horsepower, seven-speed manual transmission and a thankfully slick well-tailored interior. But the victory is in the overall stance. If you love cars, the C7 makes you want it. That's something.

For people who look upon automobiles as conveyances, this, of course, is a never-no-mind. The hemp suit crowd will scoff. Honda Civic lovers will say that it is a car for people, especially...um...men, who are insecure about something. But take the Stingray out on the road or a track for an hour, and tell me you didn't have fun.

Most of us will never own the C7, or even drive it. But we can take a look at it at the auto shows or the local dealership. Giddy kids and adults, and even those pesky millennials who say they don't want to own a car, will sit in it, and imagine themselves driving it. School-kids with a jones for cool cars will get posters of the car for Christmas and tack them up in their rooms. A few grown-ups will buy the car and put in the third or fourth bay of their garage. Others will just get the calendar and hang it in their work-shop.

Rationalists will point to the fact that while GM knocked the Corvette, a car that will probably sell 35,000 in its best year, out of the park, the real challenge still unmet is knocking the Chevy Malibu, a car that should sell 200,000 a year retail, over the fence too.

And those people would be right. But let's not overlook that Chevy proved again that it knows how to do something better than the Asians and Germans, and that Detroit can still make us just really want something, if only for an hour.



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  • 76 Comments
      a2004ssr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Corvette makes expensive import owners feel uneasy , uneasy that they spent 3 times as much in some cases and are always looking at the Corvette tail lights. Sad reality for Big name and big dollar competition .
      Mikerrr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks an awful lot like the Jaguar XKR to me (from the front).
      offlinej
      • 1 Year Ago
      for a country that is based upon free market capitalism, all the junk about by USA etc., sound more like communism to me, let all manufacturers compete for my bucks and may the best product win, that is what has in fact made America great, and it is the buy USA argument that allows the car manufacturers to self-implode by selling junk to such people who claim to be the patriots.
      Smokey
      • 1 Year Ago
      It has a very European look to it. I think it needs more Sting Ray styling. GM needs to get out of the box.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a European spec Toyota Supura
      vancecline
      • 1 Year Ago
      So why does it have to look like a Viper in the front?
      boidmorphs
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am SO going to own one someday! It will look great next to my Challenger SRT.
      • 1 Year Ago
      i love the corvette but its time out for manual t tops as it should of been a push button retractable hard top by now i mean it is 2013-2014
        VIRGILPOWELL
        • 1 Year Ago
        i agree.......my retirement ride is going to be a 2011/12......LS3 or the c6 before they changed to the c7. i was stationed at ft Campbell and visited the plant and museum in bowling green....amazing. my brother has an 84 vette and when i too him there, he was overwhelmed.
      car4068043
      • 1 Year Ago
      I saw a very red one last week while out tooling around in my ultra-cool (not) 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan and I wanted to kill myself!
      JIM
      • 1 Year Ago
      I always wanted a corvette but couldn't afford one, now i can afford one but i'm 70 years old and can't get in and out of one.
        sneakyp957
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JIM
        "I always wanted a corvette but couldn't afford one" I used to think that too,and then in 1986 I needed a second car for backup to make sure I could get to work if my prime car failed,so I went looking for new Ford Escort stationwagons. I ended up spotting a 1980 Corvette on the dealers lot in good condition with custom paint,and it was within 300 dollars of what the Escort station wagon was going to cost me. Guess which one I bought.
          hipcat442
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sneakyp957
          Same thing for me. I have owned muscle cars for years but my drivers were always smaller engine cars. Was looking at a bug eye Subaru wrx when I spotted a beautiful 03 C5 Corvette. Thank god I did. The insurance is cheaper and the corvettes mileage is only slightly less than the Subaru. Its great I constantly get compliments on the car that people THINK they cannot afford. C5 Corvettes are very reasonably priced right now. Give me a couple of years and I will leverage my way into a C7 Hopefully they will listen to the people and put Corvette tail lights back on the car. My main complaint is the Camaro tail lights. Note to GM. Corvette is your premiere sports car. Not the Camaro.
        njenel
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JIM
        thats the problem with the corvette, the people that can afford them, don't want them. and the people that want them, can't afford them.
      aircraftem
      • 1 Year Ago
      The last great Vette was built in 1969. When will Detroit figure out that less is more in their designing of cars? I wonder what the material makeup of this new vette is? Looks like at least 50% Plastic, 35% Metal, 15% Other.
        bigwingnut
        • 1 Year Ago
        @aircraftem
        SIXTY-NINE? Name one good thing about a 69! A strong case can be made for 67, but not 69!
          a2004ssr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bigwingnut
          Actually 1969 was the LAST year for the 427 cubic inch in a Corvette. 1970 went to the 454. Not sure if he knew that but thats fact.
          whdlsn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bigwingnut
          67 was great, 68 was a toad and the 69 was also great. The factory side pipes offered in 69 were nice (put a set on my big block 68 and yeah, I still have it). The 71 would have been a winner if the LS7 big block would have not been ditched (open chambered version of the LS6). Chevrolet shoved this unused engines out the door as crate engines (p/n 3965774) for around $550 per copy in 1974. In reality, 67,68,69 models are all good because they are not some rice-grinder, so loved them all.
      kkakear
      • 1 Year Ago
      Back in 1976, I was at a Chevy dealer with my dad as he was ordering trucks for his business. The salesman said "Bill, you should buy a ' Vette for your kid". I said I would be embarrassed to be seen in such a joke of a car and would much rather have the Cosworth Vega. Of course, dad didn't buy me either but I am glad Chevy stuck with the Corvette and made it into this wonderful world class butt-kicking machine. Just hope that Chevrolet doesn't build any in that awful shade of orange from 1976
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